There are various programs available for mind mapping; some you have to pay for, others are free. The tool we are exploring this week for the EDT Intro to Educational Technology class is Bubbl.us. It is a free program and is fairly easy to use. The mind map I created is for planning my church's Christmas program. Although most students in the K-12 wouldn't be planning a Christmas program or a large event, they could be. There are several other types of uses I think a tool such as this would be useful, such as planning a video production, developing a science or art project, or exploring a topic for a paper.
There were a few things I would change, if I was the developer for the program. Trying to change color, connect to other bubbles, move, unpin, or delete seemed a little troublesome. You have to click on the bubble and above it will appear another bubble with those options. I would prefer to just be able to right-click with the mouse and choose any of the above. Also, it would be nice to be able to change levels by moving the bubbles around, but you have to first disconnect and then you can "connect" them, but it's different type of connection than the original connect. I guess I'm thinking of the navigation within FrontPage, Microsoft's old Web design program. I could move pages around from parent level to child level to sub-child level and back up to parent level, all without having to connect or disconnect specifically. I would like to see that kind of ease of movement in a program like this. Occasionally, I had to click several times on the "child" button to create a new bubble. I don't know if I was just not clicking in the right spot or if this is something that is a problem for everyone. No matter, it was a good experience and kids would probably enjoy using a tool such as this.
Here's the mind map that I created using Bubbl.us.